Birth parents are free to choose the family who adopts their baby.  Often, when the time comes, a birth mother sits with baited breath, barely able to get through the greetings and pleasantries. All she wants is to see the profiles of the families who met the criteria she gave her pregnancy counselor. She has some very specific hopes in mind. The list varies from birth parent to birth parent. Perhaps this birth mother wanted her child to be the first, or perhaps she was hoping for her child to have a sibling. Perhaps she was hoping for a family that values education, has a back yard, or a family pet. She may have visions of a stay-at-home parent, or a family that likes to travel. Whatever her hopes may be, now is her moment of truth. Her counselor has worked to prepare her for this moment, and decision, over their last few meetings, but now is when it becomes real and her vision comes to life.

This is one of my favorite parts of a birth mother’s journey. I want all my clients to feel the sense of comfort that comes with having made their choice of adoptive family for their baby. I love to hear them explain why they selected the family they did, and I’ll let you in on a little secret. It almost never has anything to do with the original list of traits they gave me. When a birth parent tries to imagine the life they want for their child, they are thinking very abstractly. They are often imagining white picket fences, or something they wished for, but never had in their childhood. When they actually begin to review profiles, however, most of those abstract ideas fly out the window. They find themselves looking for something familiar – a piece of themselves in a stranger that will stay with their child forever. They may have asked for a two parent home, but select the single adoptive mother who reminds them of their favorite aunt. They may bond with an adoptive father over a shared love for a sports team. They may sense something similar in the way an adoptive couple are together and the way they are with their partner. There is no telling what the “x-factor” will be, but there is a good chance it won’t be exactly what they were originally thinking, but better. Most of my birth parents find themselves putting aside their preconceived notions and reacting to a gut instinct. Those are often the best matches.

This sounds easy, but it is often hard to be truly in touch with a gut instinct when your thoughts are muddled by the confusion and stresses of an unplanned pregnancy. My job is to work with you to get you in touch with your gut instincts, to help you articulate what traits matter most, and then celebrate with you when we find the right family for you. 

We invite you to contact a Barker pregnancy counselor anytime, 24/7, when you are ready to talk.

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